Blu Ray or Oppo?

It so happens that my VCR and DVD player are nearing their end together, in a coordinated sort of way. To replace them I am thinking of two componets:

(1) A DVD recorder + VCR combo. Considering Panasonic DMR EZ47VK, because it seems to get good reviews, but other recommendations are welcome (should have built in tuner).

(2) A better dvd player. This is where I am confused.

The best regarded dvd player seems to be Oppo. But they don't make Blu Ray.

If I get Oppo, it would be great quality and I can live with it until they or somebody else comes out with a well-built Blu Ray. Downside: I have to keep buying standard resolution dvd's, and I won't be happy with those when I do get my Blu Ray player.

If I get Blu Ray, my fear it will be a cheaply made machine which might start flaking on me (Amazon reviews). Upside: I can start building up my Blu Ray collection right now.

What would (or did!) you do?

All comments and advice appreciated.
Six months has passed since Sony won the "format wars," and yet very little has changed on the Blu-ray scene. Which is to say, the only obsolescence-resistant Blu-ray player available is STILL the Playstation 3.

If Sony or some of its Blu-ray licensed partners don't start putting out better featured, more reliable, less expensive players soon, we'll all be stuck upconverting standard DVDs and getting our HD programming via downloads.
Johny I couldn't disagree more, yes, version 2.0 players are slow to come to market, but at the same time, do you really need the downloadable extra features and movie trailers?

The film is entirely their and in MUCH higher audio and video resolution. The format war is over, buy a Blu-ray player rather than an Oppo that will only end up a door stop, the technology is here, why spend more money on a DVD player now?

Go Blu!
I agree with KennyT, you don't need BR ver2.0. Get yourself a BR player with the Silicon Optix REON/Realta processor chip and enjoy!
Yup...definitely go Blu. Most Blu rays will upconvert as well. Just how much do you believe you have to spend on a Blu ray player to get a good one? If buying an expensive one makes you feel better, get a Denon 3800 or a Pioneer.

I was in a guys home yesterday that was still using a Zenith combo VCR/DVD player with his new Mits 73 inch 1080P television! The picture quality looked like garbage. ;-)

I can't figure out the logic in this too save my life. He had a hard time believing he could get a better picture going Blu ray. lol
Money wasn't an object as this guy is a millionaire..I just don't get it.
Vman71 - What player/s have the silicon optix reon/realta processor chip? Tks.
There's a good argument to be made that the whole HD-DVD "craze" will never actually catch on. Indeed, could be argued that Toshiba made an excellent business decision by bowing out of the war of attrition and ceded to Sony an essentially phyrric victory. Blueray, since winning, really hasn't done much. I'm convinced, and I admit that it is noting more than my opinion and somewhat impressionistic, that HD video will indeed shift to an online delivery format in the relatively near future, and that Blueray will relatively quickly become obsolete. Personally, I have a relatively large DVD library, and have decided not to invest in Blueray at all. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to very badly and patiently awaited the resolution of the format war. But now that it's over, the next format revolution looms way too close on the horizon for me to jump into the last one.

That said, a Blueray player will reportedly do real nice upconversion on its own, so there's no real loss on that front if you need the new new thing. But so will the Oppo. I simply won't invest in Blueray software, so I have no use for a player. I bought the Oppo. Your mileage, however, will certainly vary.
What Mezmo said! That's exactly what I'm talking about. Hasn't anybody noticed that once Toshiba pulled HD DVD off the market, the buzz about hi-def video optical disc has DIED! has not reviewed a high-rez video disc player since December 2007, and that was a review of the top end Toshiba HD DVD player!

As long as the format war was going on, it kept the buzz alive in the public market. Best Buy and Circuit City had stacks of both types of players and hi-def displays of each format's movies, and they were price-cutting to stir up the competition.

But once Toshiba pulled out, the buzz died and rather than rushing to buy Blu-ray players, people turned to cable programming and downloads to get their hi-def content.

This month's Home Theater magazine had an article about this very phenomenon. Since Toshiba pulled out of the race, the sales of Blu-ray players (not counting Playstation 3's) has gone DOWN!

The triumph of Blu-ray is not a sure thing.
Oppo and Playstation3, covers all bases. The Playstation beats any other blu-ray out there. The station enables software updates, nothing else does. So, your set to go, for a long time. As for the 'not a sure thing', who do think will put $10 billion into an alterative at this point? Only Microsoft has that kind of money and they a betting on an on line approach.
As for the 'not a sure thing', who do think will put $10 billion into an alterative at this point? Only Microsoft has that kind of money and they a betting on an on line approach.
You're assuming somebody will put $10B into it and I'm saying they won't. Sony is playing with themselves again and the buying public's mind is wandering.

There was never a burning interest (except with us cinephiles) for a really high-rez video disc format. Much of the buying public thinks DVD *is* HD, and a lot of the so-called HD programming on cable is really upconverted 480p.

1080p Blu-ray fed into a 1080p display IS stunning, and noticeably better than typical resolution in a movie theater, let alone standard def DVD, upconverted or not. The public needs to be shown that there's a difference and that the difference matters. That window of opportunity is disappearing fast, and people will settle for cable HD and upconverted std-def DVDs.
I was at Blockbuster the other day, and they currently have a wall of Blu-ray disks. Someone must be renting them or they wouldn't dedicate that much space for this format. Blockbuster online also has about 100 titles in the HD DVD format. My feeling is that the general public is holding off on the Blu-ray until the street price drops below the $200 price ceiling. The software also needs to come down in price. In the last 6 months, almost everyone I know has purchased flat panel tv's as they feel the price has become affordable. They will also purchase Blu-ray when it hits the "magic price".
I see new Blu ray titles released every week on Net flix. They have nearly 500 Blu rays to choose from. AS mentioned above..some one is renting them..a lot of some ones. Sony released its new BD Rom drive earlier this year. You can get a Blu ray drive for less than $150.

Down loads may become the future, but for Blu ray quality...we have a ways to go. The info held on these disc is massive. Trying to down load this to'll need some serious download speeds to watch in real time.

It will be years before this is possible nationwide. Cable and telephone systems are still trying to get the speeds acceptable for basic DVD downloads.

I've watched several movies in real time online. They are watchable..close to cable TV quality. But they are no where near Blu ray...sorry.

Not too mention the DRM mess you run into trying to download the movie to even watch it. NetFlix instant movie viewer allows me to watch movies only on one of my PCs and the other it won't. There's definitely some kinks to be worked out with this instant download stuff.
I'd rather drop a disc in the drive and be done with it.
I really think Blu-ray has overestimated the value of 2.0 to the average movie watcher. I wish they would ditch 2.0 and just concentrate on getting cheap, basic function players to market. I rent blu-ray discs via Netflix and it seems most new movies are available in the blu format. I tell'ya, after you get used to blu-ray, its hard to go back to plain ol' dvd.
Just picked up a Sony 350 Blu and am quite stunned . My Runco outputs only 1080i but it is vastly superior in picture quality to my Meridian G98 dvd player... Micro detail is eye candy and it makes watching your old favorites a new experience . Im an old lazer disc guy and take it from me , at this price ...its time to jump in .
I agree with alot of the posts above. Blue ray will not be a success, IMHO until the price comes down. There is simply no reason for the average consumer or even audi/video educated customer to pony up for blu ray with the price of players and software at their current levels.

With reliable HD downloadable content on the horizon, blu ray should lower the price quickly or it faces a long slow death. I opted out on this whole issue and bought a cheap pioneer upconverting dvd to buy another 6 months to see how this shakes out.
Feel better now? LG To Add Blu-ray Player With Netflix Streaming Access. Prices will come is only a matter of time. Streaming is for standard DVDs not Blu ray.
Brainwater: Just picked up a Sony 350 Blu and am quite stunned...

I can use some recommendations for "best value" and will take your statement as such. Just curious which ones you looked at, and how did you pick this one.

PS. As I read the reviews, Panasonic seems to be quite well regarded too.
I just got the new Oppo 981HD. I have seen em as low as 165.00 on the net ( 229.00 ). The picture quality is as good as they say. Enough for me to wait for Blu Ray movies and players to come down in price. This reminds me of the DTS vs Dolby war. The Play Station option is what I have been told too if you are wanting it now. I buy my movies when Blockbuster has them used for 4 or 3 at 20 bucks. So the Oppo was a easy choice to get now. I'm afraid we are still a couple of years away for Blu Ray to get mainstream affordable.
You can do what I did: beg for a Playstation 3 for your brithday!

Now, I have a player that is pretty darn good in the interim while the market fully developes AND I get to play Gran Toursimo (Prolog) with amazing picture and sound qualiy.

Enjoy the serach! John
This has been a really interesting thread to's been really cool to see everyone's opinion. I hope that continues.

I am not a Sony fan by any means and was hoping that HD-DVD would win the format war. That didn’t happen, but something very interesting did: prices for Blu-Ray movies have not come down. What’s the deal with that?!

IMO Blu-Ray believes they have locked up the market so there is no pressure on them. Like others here, I believe Blu-Ray will be the shortest lived format we’ve seen. Right now the players are expensive, and receivers and surround sound processors that decode the new sound formats are really expensive. Most “average Joe’s” won’t go with the six channel output (or even know you can do that).

With all this going on, the picture quality is the main thing driving the masses to buy blu-Ray. At $25/movie at my local Costco, there’s no way I’m going for it. So it’s a waiting game…will the receivers and processors come down in price? Sure they will. Will the software/movies come down in price? Sure they will. But what is going on in the meantime? Many of us are loosing interest, and somebody is working on the next format + delivery method.

Aktchi—my advice (if it isn’t obvious by now) would be to get an Oppo…if you have $400 burning a hole in your pocket and you can’t find another toy, get a PS3. Either way don’t look back—enjoy your purchase..

"I was at Blockbuster the other day, and they currently have a wall of Blu-ray disks"

The three Blockbusters in my area do not have a full wall of BR discs COMBINED...I am in the same zone as Calldr, $4 for 20 at BB and Oppo to play em. First, I would never pay retail for BR discs. Secondly, there really aren't that many titles out there. My initial thinking was to hold out till the format war was over and BR units and discs dropped in price. Now we are several months down the road from the demise of HD DVD and nothing has really changed. 2.0???? Who cares, they aren't selling enough of the current generation players. Its Sonys dog and pony show. Unless someone like Oppo gets in the game with an affordable player for the mass public, its only matter of time before this format goes the way of SACD, etc.......
I equate the Blu ray format to Plasma TV. Less than 10 years ago, a 42 inch would run you 10 grand. I'm sure there are many that thought this will never catch on. Low and behold ..what has happened?

Why on earth would I buy an older DVD 480i movie, when the same movie will most likely be broadcasting over the air for free at a higher resolution? Prime time TV is already broadcasting at a higher resolution than a standard DVD.

Why would you buy the movie to begin with? Rent it.. dub a copy for your collection and send it back. Hard drives are plentiful and cheap. It is no different than using a old dual head VCR to make copies. Except you can have hundreds if not thousands of movies on your hard drives. The quality is no different than dropping a disc in a player. You can stream the movie to any TV on your home network. Or watch several movies simultaneously in different parts of your home.

DVR receivers or cable boxes are setup to do this already to some degree. Except you pay some one else to store the movie for you.

I'll put money on it, some of you that are negative towards the Blu ray format still have walls of CDs that will become obsolete as well.

I'm not buying the argument that the Blu rays are over priced to own. Who buys movies anymore? Rent a copy it to HD and you can watch it any time you want too. The software to do this is already on the net for purchase.I think you guys fail to see the younger generation does things a little different than yesteryears....think Ipod!

You're thinking old school guys. Time to step in to the 21st century now. Great discussion by the way. ;-)
I was ready to buy ... the prices had fallen considerably and I wanted one that was as up to spec as possible. Earlier models will not play the latest DVDs without an update . I wanted to spend as little as possible before I bought a statement piece for my system . At 399 its clearly worth the money.
I agree with Gmood1. I was about to buy a BluRay player when I got an AppleTV as they upgraded the firmware. Although it's not 1080p, the new HD movies look and sound great, and I fully expect the next update, or a future one to get resolution to 1080p. I already own a ton of classic movies on DVD, so why buy Casablanca, Citizen Kane, or Pulp Fiction again on BluRay? From now on I will just rent movies from iTunes or the like when I want to watch them. I think BluRay was doomed from the day iPod/iTunes went commericial
Once I saw movies on my HD-D2, I decided I'd never buy another std def DVD again. After watching several HD cable movies followed by another HD DVD from Netflix (KIng of California), I'm going to get a PS3 and start ordering Blu-ray rentals from Netflix. I only have a native 720p 55" RP display, but the difference is too obvious. Optical disc hi-rez REWLZ!
Wait and be patient. Oppo is woking on a Blue Ray player.
08-05-08: Bobcel
Wait and be patient. Oppo is woking on a Blue Ray player.
Sounds like a good idea. After reading from someone who's owned both, now I'm a little more inclined to go with a standalone player than a PS3. And I realized, I don't want to go buy yet a third surround pre/pro in 3 years. I like my Boston Acoustics AVP7 just fine. Of course it doesn't do HDMI switching or decoding, but it DOES have 7.1 ch. analog inputs, and I really like its overall sound quality, usability, and build quality.

FINALLY some Blu-ray players are coming out with internal sound decoding (most recently, I think, the Panasonic DMP-50 at $700). So could a yet more affordable Oppo Blu-ray be too far behind? When the right Blu-ray comes out that provides analog output of True HD and DTS Master Theater at a reasonable price--then I'll buy.

After all, until I can get a player with internal decoding of lossless surround codecs, I would not be getting the full potential sound quality without getting something that can digitally decode HDMI 1.3.
OPPO is working on a Blu-Ray player.
I have The OPPO 983 and a playstation3 and I use both all the time. My kids have 100's of DVDs and they play them all the time on the Oppo. There is no doubt HD cable or bluray is even better; clearer, more resolution, better color rendition on my plasma Pio 6010, P.S. the playstation 3 loads 3 times faster at least than the pioneer elite 94 or 95 and sound wise it would be hard to tell between a PS3 using HDMI and Pioneer blu HDMI output!
Dvd's are getting cheap so kids stuff keeps coming but we won't be buying any more dvd's for Mom and Dad.
If I had to wait even longer (christmas) I probably would just get the playstation 3.
this is a fun problem to discuss..... and OPPO will probably make a good bluplayer too.
The Oppo is so low profile and the PS3 so compact, I found that I have room on my rack to stack one on top of the other. I use the Oppo for all music; I have it internally upconvert everything to 7.1 channel and use the 7.1 analog outputs to the 7.1 analog inputs on my Boston AVP7 pre/pro. I have the PS3 connected via HDMI to the HDTV and a digital optic link into the pre/pro for sound. Granted, this won't give me full uncompressed surround of the new codecs, but I'm not ready to spend the money on a fully HDMI 1.3b-capable pre-pro, and it *still* sounds better than std. def DVD simply because the transfer rate is significantly faster.

But I use the Oppo DV-980H for redbook CD, CD-R, HDCD-encoded CD, DVD-A, and SACD. In my case, the two boxes take up less space than one big-ass universal player, I can play more formats than any "universal" I know of, and the total cost for the two boxes was $569.
The disc is a dying format. Welcome to the "hard drive disc" era! - downloading digital media, computer/entertainment media convergence, internet based home automated systems.
"...I am proteus" - "Welcome to the Matrix"...
26-08: Iplaynaked
The disc is a dying format. Welcome to the "hard drive disc" era! - downloading digital media, computer/entertainment media convergence, internet based home automated systems.
Yeah, but there will always be a thriving niche market for those who prefer quality and the ability to build a library over instant convenience. Downloads are limited by the bandwidth of the delivery system. In cable that means the video is lossy-compressed (I *always* get pixelation on fast action from cable-sourced HD) and the audio currently can't rise above dull-as-dishwater Dolby Digital 5.1. Maybe someday, but not now.

Even with my 720p native mode 55" LC RP HDTV, cable-sourced HDTV can't TOUCH the clean, sharp resolution I get from HD DVD on my entry-level Toshiba and Blu-ray on my stepson's PS3. And I can't even access the lossless surround codecs, but with the faster digital audio transfer rates of HD DVD and Blu-ray, the sound is still worlds better as a downconversion from TrueHD to DTS coming over Toslink than what I get from std. def. DVD and cable-sourced HD programming.

And if you have a front-projection or large-screen 1080p with 120Hz refresh and 24 fps source from Blu-ray, feeding the uncompressed audio to a compatible pre/pro, the viewing quality over cable or dish HDTV is ridiculous.
I don't believe DVD is a dying format, but it's definitely shrinking just as CD's have. Download content wont eliminate disc, but it will split the market because:

1. It will take a lot longer than many think for everyone to have the high speed & high capacity connection necessary to download HD movies, and longer for those people to all know how to download and burn movies in HD.

2. Many consumers like myself still like the physical ownership of the disc and booklet, as with audio CD.

3. Blu-ray is definitely impressive, but even a standard DVD through a decent player (upscaling or not) viewed on a good crt/plasma/lcd can still be excellent to watch; this takes away the incentive for a huge part of the market to start worrying about downloads, or spending big $$$ on bluray just yet.